When Trains Collide: Disaster in Belgium

(AP) — A passenger train slammed at high speed into a slow-moving freight train in eastern Belgium, killing three people and sending 10 others to the hospital, authorities said Monday. The accident came just hours after reported lightning strikes and a signal disruption on the line.

Two cars from the passenger train derailed when it rear-ended the freight train around 11 p.m. Sunday in Hermalle-Sous-Huy, a hamlet on the Meuse River. Belgian prosecutor Brigitte Leroy said the passenger train was traveling around 60 mph (100 kph), and the freight 6-9 mph (10-15 kph) at the time of the crash. Earlier reports had said the freight train was stopped.

State broadcaster RTBF said the dead included two passengers and the train’s driver. RTBF TV reported many of the passengers were students in their early 20s returning to school after the weekend.

Ten people were hospitalized, local hospitals reported. As of midday Monday, Belgian media said only one of the injured was still being treated: a 26-year-old man who underwent two operations for broken ribs and vertebrae and abdominal pains. Twenty-seven other passengers were treated at the scene.


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